Jen, over at beyondmom.com recently posted on her blog, in response to Sheena, from Mommy Daddy Blog, about being a “crunchy mom”. They both got me thinking, am I a crunchy mom? I know Jen would say I am, but I’m not so sure. I certainly don’t consider myself crunchy. Frugal, sure. Ethical? I try. But crunchy? I dunno. I think I just am cautious of describing myself in such a “granola” way. I see all the ways I could be more environmentalist, and I am sensitive about being teased for being “hippy dippy”, so I’m wary.
You be the judge. How crunchy am I?
I cloth diaper. Why? Because I love cloth. Cloth is cute. Sorry, but there are no disposable diapers that compare to this kind of cuteness. Cloth is cheap. Cloth is re-usable, and I’m a big fan of reusing things. Cloth also keeps 1 metric ton of waste out of the landfills, per child. But, when we travel, we use disposable. I just hate doing laundry on vacation, ya know?
I garden. Well, actually, my husband gardens. I putter. He’s the one who does 90% of the work. I occasionally pull a weed, I harvest most of the produce, and I feel proud. This year, we are growing:
- beans (2 varieties)
- tomatoes (2 varieties)
- bell peppers (2 varieties)
- and of course the mulberry bushes that are 20+ feet high and came with the house.
I wear Asher in a sling. A lot. Not because it is “crunchy”, but because it leaves my hands free so I can chase after Miriam.
I drive a hyrbid. It is an SUV though, so I think that works out to a regular car.
I get a bi-weekly delivery of organic veggies and fruits from Timber Creek Farms. If you are within 100 miles of Chicago, check them out. I love my produce delivery. The cost is totally reasonable, and the quality rocks!
Going back to the cloth diaper thing, I line dry them when the weather allows (which in Chicago is surprisingly rare!) I hate how much the dryer heats up the house, and love that the sun takes out stains.
I dress my kids in hand-me-downs as much as possible. I think I’ve bought 6 onsies total for Asher, and probably 12 outfits for Miriam. Between family that loves to buy clothes for my kids (THANK YOU!) and friends with older kids who’ve outgrown clothes, my kids are very well dressed. I also plan to hand the clothes on to others, as needs arise. Waste not, want not.
We go to the library once a week, and the farmers market every week during the season. And we walk to both, unless it is raining. Don’t think that we get all our books from the library though! We are bookworms and could probably start a library of our own.
We use cloth napkins. I just like them better, and they take up hardly any room in the laundry anyway.
In general, I hate the idea of buying things just to throw them away. Don’t even get me started on garbage bags – at this point a necessary evil.
I knit. I’m not sure how that would be crunchy to anyone who has seen a real knitters stash, but I guess non-knitters would think it is thrifty, enviro-conscious, etc.
We eat what I call “ethically”. We don’t keep kosher, because honestly all the rules Judiasm has built up around kashrut over the years boggle me. Chickens don’t make milk!!! (okay, rant over) But, we do try to eat ethically, which for us means thinking about what we eat, where it comes from, and how the food we take into our bodies becomes part of us, and comes from G-d. We ate kosher meat, until the scandal last year. Now, I try to buy ethically raised meat. I don’t care if it was slaughtered in a kosher fashion if the employees weren’t treated properlly and the animals were abused before slaughter. I do care that my food is treated well, and that we treat our bodies well. (oh, and I love shelfish too much, I think if the ancient Israelites had known how yummy oysters are, they wouldn’t have forbidden them!)
And in the not at all crunchy section:
We follow the vaccination schedule religiously. My mom was a poster child for the polio vaccines. Seriously, her face was in the newspaper and on posters! We are big believers in the power of vaccines.
I got to Target once a week. At least. No, I don’t know what all I buy there. I love buying things. It makes me happy. I don’t buy junk, but we don’t really need all the DVD’s, books, and other chazerie that I collect.
I love kitchen gadgets. I have a yogurt machine, a food processor, a stand mixer, a hand mixer, a toaster oven, two waffle irons (belgian and standard), a coffee grinder (which you can pry from my cold dead hands), a drip coffee maker, an espresso machine, an immersion blender, a standup blender, a rice cooker/ steamer, etc. I could do almost all the jobs these tools do by hand, but the tools are fun damnit!
I don’t compost. Yet. Research is ongoing.
I love my AC. I get very grouchy when I’m warm, so the AC is my friend. I turned it on this week, and plan to leave it on, and set to 74 whenever I’m home until October. However, in the winter, we keep the heat on at 68 during the day, and only 64 at night. Like I said, I get grouchy when I’m warm.
So, you tell me, am I crunchy? Are you?